The response to my call for views on mandatory vaccination for those of us dealing with NHS patients has been positive. I am yet to hear an argument against. As one reader suggested, ‘As a profession we’ve by and large come out of the pandemic as the good guys; by providing face-to-face care in safe environments… vaccines are just part of our PPE.’

Since then, the Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that mandatory vaccines will apply to healthcare workers regulated by the Care Quality Commission in England. The measures, which will be enforced from April 1, 2022, only include hospital optometrists and domiciliary optometrists who work in care homes. Let’s hope the rest of us follow suit anyway as a logical step.

I had also previously mentioned the awkward dinner party where someone young and healthy had asked: ‘Why should I have a vaccine?’ The new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) has around 50 mutations, 30 of which are in the spike protein. To quote Professor David Matthews of Bristol University: ‘If they are right that this virus is even better at transmitting than Delta, and it looks like they are, what will happen is that it will speed up the rate at which this virus finds the unvaccinated and puts them in hospitals, and that will therefore increase the pressure on the NHS. That is what will trigger a lockdown, if hospitalisation rates go above a certain threshold.’

Finally, in response to my anti-privatisation comments last week, one reader wrote: ‘As a way of dealing with dental charges, my husband has started pulling his own teeth out. That is one thing, but if he pulls one of his eyes out because of private expenses, I may have to divorce.’ Well said.